The not so secret stat that is determining the outcome of Colts games

The Indianapolis Colts are currently 7-6 and there is a consistent theme in all six of Indy’s losses that isn’t present in the team’s seven wins.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10) looks to get rid of the ball as a Cincinnati
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10) looks to get rid of the ball as a Cincinnati / Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY

After 14 weeks, the Indianapolis Colts are currently 7-6. Despite being a game above .500, the Colts would be a playoff team if the postseason started today. However, the field is extremely crowded. With four weeks left in the season, Indy will be hoping to separate itself and hold on to a playoff spot. Obviously, that will be done by winning games.

Winning just one more game than they’ve lost, this season has been a mixed bag of sorts for the Colts. However, the results of Indy’s games aren’t as random as the record would suggest. There’s a pretty clear theme that has determined whether the Colts win or lose this season. That theme is the turnover battle.

It’s commonly said in football that the team that wins the turnover battle will ultimately win the game. That couldn’t be more true for the 2023 Colts. In the team’s six losses, Indy has lost the turnover battle in four of them and had equal turnovers in the other two. In the seven wins, the Colts won the turnover battle in six of the games, with the other game being an overtime win where both teams had two turnovers each.

Simply put, if Indianapolis doesn’t take the ball away more than it gives it away, the team will lose.

Colts must win the turnover battle to win games

The good thing: Indianapolis has taken the ball away in 18 straight games— the longest active streak in the NFL. The bad thing: Indy frequently finds a way to give the ball away. Quarterback Gardner Minshew has been the biggest culprit. On the season, he has eight interceptions and eight fumbles. The Colts are undefeated when Minshew doesn’t throw an interception but he has only done that in four games this season.

No team enters a game with plans to turn the ball over, so it’s hard to say Indy just needs to focus on protecting the football and it’ll win games, but that’s exactly the case. Whether it’s Minshew, a ball carrier, or someone on special teams, the Colts must do everything possible to prevent turnovers. Either that, or the defense just needs to keep taking the ball away at a high rate.